Zen Talk: Buddha Speaks of Small Good Being Good Enough

“Do not underestimate good, thinking it will not affect you. Dripping water can even fill a pitcher drop by drop; one who is wise is filled with good, even if one accumulates it little by little.”

This saying of the Buddha, found in the Dhammapada, causes me pause. I hope that its simplicity holds meaning for you as well.

Every good action matters. No good deed is too small. Many people want to save the world or change it for the better or be all they can be – but they want these things in one felll swoop. Little by little is a successful method. As the turtle taught us, slow and steady wins the race.

Don’t underestimate the importance of every good action, even the smallest, because every little bit helps. Perhaps we can all try to make it a goal for the day. Maybe even a once a day goal? I’m not suggesting that you drop your change into a homeless man’s tin. If you want, give him your leftovers or something. Try picking up a piece of trash. Do something nice for someone around you. Pass a smile onto a sad person. There are so many different kinds of good things to be done. Try to do one thing today – whatever comes to your mind. I will too. Tomorrow, perhaps we can try the same.

As the Buddha has told us, every good thing – no matter how seemingly small – can help to fill a much larger vessel.

What will you choose to do? What do you think of the Buddha’s words?

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